Losing a tooth is actually more common than you think.
An estimated 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. Losing just one tooth may not affect your ability to chew correctly or even impact your appearance. However, what you may not know is that when you replace missing teeth, the results can have a significant impact on your dental and whole body health.
What Happens When You Lose a Tooth?
When you have a tooth removed, the entire tooth is taken out, including the tooth root. The tooth roots help to keep you jawbone healthy and strong, ensuring old bone cells are continually renewed. When teeth are removed, your jawbone is gradually resorbed.
Jawbone loss can affect your dental health in several ways. Firstly, it can destabilize the teeth nearest the gap created by the missing tooth. Your surrounding teeth become less securely anchored in place. Your teeth shift and drift towards the empty spaces, causing problems with the way your teeth together.
As your bite changes, your jaw joints are placed under additional stress and are more likely to become painful and inflamed. An uneven or misaligned bite is one of the leading causes of TMJ or TMD pain.
The Unwanted Effects of Multiple Tooth Loss
Losing multiple teeth can increase the effects of bone loss. Your facial muscles are no longer supported, changing the dimensions of your facial structure and often creating a sunken-in appearance.
Equally as important, tooth loss can make it tricky to eat a nutritious diet. Many foods are off the menu entirely and may require a diet of softer foods for minimal chewing. When you loose the ability to chew correctly, you can harm your digestive system with foods that are not adequately chewed, or broken down. This often leads to missing essential nutrients needed for good general health and to fight infection and disease more efficiently.
Dental implants are the premier solution to replace missing teeth and help prevent jawbone loss. Dental implants emulate a tooth’s natural root, ensuring your new teeth are held firmly in place while supporting and protecting your remaining bone and natural teeth. Dental implants can also secure and stabilize dentures to give you the confidence to eat all the foods you love.